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The Hadeeth of Blind Man

The Hadeeth of Blind Man [1]

Those who consider Tawassul to be permissible by means of the status, honor and right of Allah‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and righteous people, often quote the Hadeeth of the blind man to support their erroneous view.

Narrated Uthmaan Ibn Haneef: …A blind man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and said: …Supplicate to Allah that He should cure me.“ So he said, if you wish I will supplicate for you, and if you wish I will delay that for that is better (and in a narration, …and if you wish have patience and that is better for you‘). So he said: ’Supplicate to Him.“ So he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) ordered him (the blind man) to make wudhu well, and to pray two Raka‘ahs and to supplicate with this Du‘aa: ’O Allah I ask You and turn to You by means of Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), the Prophet of mercy, O Muhammad I have turned by means of you (i.e. your Du‘aa) to my Lord in this need of mine, so that it may be fulfilled for me, O Allah accept his Shafaah on my behalf, and accept my Shafaah for him (to be accepted for me).“ So, the man did it and he was cured.‘[2]

This Hadeeth does not prove Tawassul by means of the honor or the status, rather it proves the third type of prescribed and lawful Tawassul; i.e. Tawassul by means of Du‘aa of a righteous person, because —

(a) The intent of the blind man, who came to Allah‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), was Tawassul by means of the Prophet‘s (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) Du‘aa (third type of Tawassul) and therefore, he said: ’Supplicate to Allah that He should cure me.“ If the blind man wanted to use the status and honor of Allah‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) as means of nearness to Allah, then he would have had no need to go to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and ask him to supplicate. He could have stayed back and supplicated directly to Allah by mentioning the name of Allah‘s Messenger, his status and position. But he was an Arab, and he completely understood the meaning of the word …Tawassul‘ in the Arabic language that Tawassul is to ask a pious person to supplicate and it is not merely a word said by a needy person mentioning the name of some person as an intermediary!

(b) The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) made Du‘aa for the blind man and taught him to say, ’—O Allah! Accept his Shafaah on my behalf, and accept my Shafaah for him (to be accepted for me)—“ It is argued that the Shafaah mentioned in the supplication refers to intercession.

But, if Shafaah here means intercession then what is the blind man‘s Shafaah for Allah‘s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)? Therefore, Shafaah means Du‘aa. So, it means, ’—O Allah! Accept his Du‘aa on my behalf, and accept my Du‘aa for him (to be accepted for me)—“

This is also the meaning of the statement, ’O Allah I ask You and turn to You by means of Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)—“ that is ’O Allah I ask You and turn to You by means of (the supplication of) Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)—“ and does not mean turning to Allah by means of the person of Allah‘s Messenger.

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[1] Adapted from the book, …Tawassul – Its Types and Rulings‘, by Shaikh Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albanee.

[2] Reported in al-Musnad (4/138), by at-Timidhee (4/281-282), Ibn Majah (1/418) and others.

Ref: The JAMAAT TABLEEGH and the Deobandis - A Critical analysis of their Beliefs, Books and Dawah by Sajid A. Kayum


Reference: qsep.com